BREAKING: NRA Wins Huge Victory

( – In a spectacular legal victory for the National Rifle Association, the US Supreme Court has rendered a unanimous verdict affirming that the NRA “plausibly alleged” a breach of its First Amendment rights by the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS).

This decision follows the NRA’s claim that the DFS, under the leadership of Superintendent Maria Vullo, unfairly targeted the organization by pressuring regulated entities to sever their business relationships with the NRA, aiming to stifle the group’s advocacy efforts.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor authored the court’s opinion, Fox News reports.

“The NRA plausibly alleged that [Maria T.] Vullo violated the First Amendment by coercing DFS-regulated entities to terminate their business relationships with the NRA in order to punish or suppress the NRA’s advocacy,” she wrote.

The ruling further mandates that the case be returned to the lower courts for additional proceedings, overturning the earlier dismissal by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

Originating from a 2018 lawsuit, the NRA challenged the constitutionality of government actions that threaten regulated companies with adverse consequences for maintaining business ties with controversial speakers due to governmental animosity towards the speaker’s views.

The Supreme Court’s opinion recalled a precedent set six decades ago, which condemned the use of coercion by government bodies to suppress undesirable speech.

Reaffirming this principle, the court declared that government officials cannot manipulate private entities to penalize or suppress dissenting viewpoints.

“Petitioner National Rifle Association (NRA) plausibly alleges that respondent Maria Vullo did just that,” it ruled.

At the core of the controversy were actions taken by Vullo, purportedly at the directive of former Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Allegations suggest that in the aftermath of the tragic school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Vullo issued “guidance letters” to banks and insurance companies in 2018, urging them to dissociate from the NRA and similar organizations due to potential reputational risks.

These actions were characterized in the lawsuit as “backroom threats” that also offered leniency on unrelated infractions to coerce compliance with the blacklist directive.

The Supreme Court’s decision to hear the case, titled National Rifle Association of America v. Vullo, followed a dismissal by a federal appeals court in 2022, which had previously ruled Vullo’s actions as reasonable.

However, the Supreme Court’s reversal allows the NRA to continue advocating its position in the lower courts.

Adding an unexpected dimension to the case, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), typically at odds with the NRA ideologically, supported the NRA’s legal stance.

David Cole, ACLU’s national legal director, who represented the NRA in the case, emphasized the inappropriateness of regulatory authorities using their power to silence political groups they disfavor.

“Today’s decision confirms that government officials have no business using their regulatory authority to blacklist disfavored political groups,” he noted.

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